‘Something is deeply broken in OS X memory management’

Adam Fields and Perry Metzger have been investigating the serious performance issues people are experiencing with Lion. “Frequent beachballs, general overall slowness and poor UI responsivness, specific and drastic slowdowns on every Time Machine run, high memory utilization in Safari Web Content, mds, and kernel_task processes, large numbers of page outs even with a good deal of available RAM, and high amounts of RAM marked as inactive which is not readily freed back to other applications, with page outs favored.” Apparently the issue is that the “virtual memory manager is bad at managing which pages should be freed from the inactive state and which ones should be paged out to disk”. I won’t make myself popular with a certain part of our readership, but really, is this considered a new problem? Mac OS X has always had terrible memory management, and where Windows has continuously become better at it, Mac OS X seems to have been stagnant and even getting worse. This is what happens when the company earns 2/3s of its revenue somewhere else.

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